The Mark of The Beast

Some years ago, we came across a book ("The Great And Abominable Church of The Devil") which was a real eye-opener. Admittedly, we hadn't given all that much thought as to the exact form of the GACD, but merely assumed it to be either some ultra-orthodox variety of perverted Christianity, or some cobbled-together "New Age" thing. The author's premise, however, is that the GACD is not a church per se, but rather what he calls "prostituted government".

In order to understand that, it must first be understood that God's way is love and not force. Oh, He can be v-e-r-y persuasive at times. But His general approach to dealing with His children is gentle persuasion, not force. Government, on the other hand, is the only entity legally empowered to use force to achieve its aims. And when its aims are unrighteous, it becomes in a sense "prostituted".

One of the better arguments that the author uses is a counter-argument to those who believe that John was writing about an apostasized Christian church in his Revelation. They point to his mention of the GACD being built in a city upon seven hills and that Rome -- having been built on seven hills -- is the seat of the Roman Catholic Church. As the author notes, there was no "Roman Catholic Church" at the time of John. Also, the Church of Christ was not headquarted in Rome, but in Jerusalem. Someone owes Catholics everywhere an apology.

However, there was an entity that was headquarter in Rome, with her seven hills. And that was the Roman Empire. Hence, it makes a lot more sense to accept the idea that John was referring to "prostituted government" -- with its almost unbridled use of force -- rather than to even a fallen-away version of Christianity.

What then are we to make of the "Mark of the Beast"? While everyone is getting all wrapped around the axle about bar codes, RFIDs, and yet-to-come technology, one writer has interpreted this as being more metaphorical than literal. In his view, accepting the mark of the beast in one's hand means that -- while not actively promoting the work of the Anti-Christ -- one wilingly acquiesces to the abomination. Accepting the mark in one's forehead is interpreted as accepting and actively promoting this most unholy of arrangements. We would dare to say that one who resists as far as resistance is possible, will do well during the later judgement.

As to the number of the beast ("666"), The History Channel had a rather interesting presentation on that. One of the commentators during their show posited that people get fixated on interpreting that by today's understanding instead of understanding it according to the culture of the time it was written. Each character of the Hebrew alphabet, he noted, has a numeric value. Adding up the value of each character in a name would give one a sort of "check sum" of that name. And the name that equals 666? "Nero Caesar". Lends a certain validity to the original premise that the "Great and Abominable Church of the Devil" is in fact prostituted government.